By Leslie Amsterdam, Rebecca Kemble, Arthur Kohl-Riggs and Nicole Schulte
Bart Munger showed up to his job at the UW Physical Plant this morning to find a Capitol police officer and a UW police officer waiting for him. They were there to deliver two citations for holding a banner at the Solidarity Sing Along the day before. Munger was alerted by his supervisor that the officers were looking for him at his place of employment. When Munger asked the police why they didn’t just cite him at the Capitol but came to his work to give him the tickets the Capitol police officer told him he was just following Chief Erwin’s orders.
Munger, who lives 35 miles away in Milton, WI, said Capitol Police discovered where he works when he was taken out of the rotunda in handcuffs last week for displaying a sign. He said that when he was in the police station, he was requested to empty his pockets. A Capitol Police detective then opened his wallet and removed all of his credit and identification cards, including his University of Wisconsin employee identification.
This is a new twist in the Capitol Police force’s new tactic reported here last night. Each citation carries a possible forfeiture of $200.50. All of the citations have the same court date: September 21, 2012 at 10:10 am in the Dane County Courthouse. These may be among the first cases prosecuted by Department of Justice attorneys under a new agreement between them and the Dane County District Attorney’s office.
News of the home delivery of citations yesterday brought out nearly 150 people to the Sing Along today. Among those were the Raging Grannies who led the Sing Along and opened with “America the Beautiful” followed by a minute of silence for the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon eleven years ago today.
According to the person who answered the phone at the Capitol Police station, Chief David Erwin is not answering questions today in honor of the victims of the attack. Multiple calls to Stephanie Marquis, media relations officer for the Capitol Police, have gone unanswered. However, Erwin was seen giving an interview to the local NBC affiliate Channel 15 later this afternoon in the Capitol. Stephanie Marquis suggested to a WCMC reporter that an appointment for an interview with Chief Erwin be set up, something WCMC has been trying to schedule for weeks.